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Cornell reorganizes campus sustainability initiatives

The university has created two new organizations to coordinate sustainable campus efforts and boost community involvement.

President David Skorton has formed the new 13-member President's Sustainable Campus Committee (PSCC) to oversee all aspects of sustainability in campus operations and facilities, and Facilities Services has formed the Energy and Sustainability Department, which will provide energy for campus and coordinate the implementation of PSCC initiatives.

Already existing initiatives, facilitated by the Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future and Cornell Cooperative Extension, are focused on research, scholarship, outreach and external engagement.

The PSCC, which includes representatives from operations and academic staff, students and faculty, will be involved across 10 areas of sustainable campus activities: energy, climate, water, food, waste, buildings, people, land, purchasing and transportation. Over the coming months, teams of staff, students and faculty will be recruited to implement actions in each of these areas.

A PSCC Communications Subcommittee will provide support for on-campus and external communications relating to campus sustainability, and the PSCC will prepare an annual progress report on Cornell's campus sustainability initiatives and commitments.

The new PSCC comes on the heels of the two-year process to create the Cornell Climate Action Plan, which was approved by the board of trustees in September 2009.

The PSCC will be co-chaired by Kyu Whang, vice president for facilities services, and Tim Fahey, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of Natural Resources. Committee manager is Bert Bland, senior director of the new Energy and Sustainability Department. Units with members involved include:

Also announced this week: Through the Reimagining Cornell process, the Facilities Services division has formed the Energy and Sustainability Department, which will include three units: Energy Management, Utilities and the Sustainability Office. Sustainability Coordinator Dan Roth will oversee coordination and communication support for campus sustainability initiatives through the Sustainability Office.

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